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Australia: ACMA fines Pizza Hut AUD 2.5 million for sending unsolicited direct marketing messages

On May 16, 2024, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) announced that Pizza Pan Group Pty Ltd (Pizza Hut) had paid a fine of AUD 2.5 million (approx. $1.67 million) for violating the Spam Act 2003 (the Spam Act), following consumer complaints.

Background to the decision

ACMA stated that it received complaints that Pizza Hut, a restaurant chain, had sent marketing messages to consumers who had withdrawn their consent to receive marketing. Additionally, the complainants alleged that the messages did not have a functional unsubscribe facility.

Findings of ACMA

Following an investigation, ACMA found that between January 1, 2023, and May 4, 2023, Pizza Hut sent customers about 4.3 million marketing messages without a functional unsubscribe facility, in violation of Section 18(1) of the Spam Act. During the same period, ACMA determined that Pizza Hut contravened Section 16(1) of the Spam Act by sending 5.9 million marketing messages to customers who had not given their consent or who previously unsubscribed from such messages.

Outcomes

In light of the above, ACMA imposed a fine of AUD 2.5 million (approx. $1.67 million) on Pizza Hut. In addition to the fine, ACMA also issued an enforcement undertaking to Pizza Hut, requiring the company to appoint an independent consultant to review its compliance with spam rules, make improvements where needed, and report regularly to ACMA.

You can read the press release here, the infringement notice here, and the enforceable undertaking here.